August 20, 2021 7:17:00 am
Former chief Parliamentary secretary and two times BJP MLA from Ferozepur City constituency, Sukhpal Singh Nannu, on Thursday announced that he was quitting the party over his resentment over the Centre’s inability to accept the demands of farmers, who have been for months agitating against three contentious farm laws passed by the Parliament in September last year.
Nannu, who won on a BJP ticket from Ferozepur City seat in 2002 and in 2007 Assembly polls, before losing to Congress’ Parminder Singh Pinki both in 2012 and 2017, said parties were not good or bad, but the leadership mattered.
“The BJP flag had always remained atop my house. But now I have removed it with a heavy heart and replaced it with a black flag to express my anger towards the Central government for not the resolving farmers’ issues to date,” Nannu, who is the son of three-time MLA, Girdhara Singh, said.
He added, “I will also write to the PM and ask whether he is getting the correct feedback about the farmers, their struggles on the ground. He needs to see the ground reports himself in order to connect with the farmers.”
Nannu, dressed in a green kurta and green turban, which he said signified the colours of the Kisan, said, “I had told BJP Punjab president, Ashwani Sharma, that he needs to tour the entire state to meet protesting farmers last year itself when they started protesting against the new farm laws. At that time they had two demands – to include MSP within the laws and also to let the mandi system continue. But as they were not heard, the farmers took their agitation to Delhi borders and are sitting on the roads today. I think that a weak leadership let this happen. The Punjab BJP President is from Pathankot and hence I feel that he wasn’t well versed with the farmer unions of Malwa, despite our feedback. I regret not having resigned earlier, I should have done it a long time ago when the farmers had started protesting. But, I thought that the issue may get resolved. However, now it seems that the party [the BJP] is not serious at all. The locals of my area urged me to take a stand against me and stand with the farmers and that is exactly what I am doing. I have no plans to join any other political party. I will ask my area residents about what they want and accordingly decide on my next course of action.”
He added, “My father was a ground-level worker of the BJP. The former PM, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, also used to come at stay at our place. I followed in my father’s footsteps and came into politics.”
Nannu, then, however, went on to blame former BJP President, Late Kamal Sharma, as well for groupism in Ferozepur city as he stated that the then president did not value the grassroots level workers of the BJP and hence the party has been losing from the Ferozepur seat since 2012. “I had great hopes from Ashwani Sharmaji, but even he too did not take much interest, and hence I had no choice but to quit the party. I am myself a farmer and hence, I stand with farmers in their struggle. “
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